Ask senior Samantha Simon about her classes this school year and she lights up, noting that she is doubling down on her passion for both science and math, and taking TWO classes in each department (AP Bio, Human Physiology, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics!). Knowing this, it's no surprise she was recently recognized by the Delaware Valley Science Council (DVSC) for outstanding achievement in STEM fields. She is one of 12 students in eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding states of Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey to receive their “Excellence in Science Award,” which comes with a $100 cash award and certificate.
Each year in the spring, the DVSC invites local high school STEM students to participate in its Annual Awards Program. Students are nominated by a teacher and go through an arduous selection process which includes an application, as well as interviews with area scientists who serve as judges. Last spring, Simon’s project, “The Effect of Urban Runoff on Fecal Coliform Levels in the Schuylkill Watershed,” earned her a medal at the George Washington Carver Science Fair, which led to her nomination for the DVSC Awards Program this year.
One of the co-founders of the Upper School club Women in STEM, Simon says, “I am passionate about science because I love problem-solving and discovering new things about the world around me.” She shared that the group’s current initiative is called the Plant Share Project (with an emphasis on share!). Glass beakers filled with cuttings the club is propagating line a science lab’s counter while they mature. Once they become viable, they will be offered to the school community.
“The plant share helps students experience biophilia and is also a way to bring everyone together for a fun, hands-on activity,” says Sam, whose project meant running experiments at the Glenside Elementary Science Fair last year.
She is honored to have been recognized by the DVSC and acknowledges the role that science department chair Scott Stein has had in her success. “Mr. Stein is the best,” she states effusively. “He encourages students to go beyond what they think they're capable of.”
In a story we ran last year, Sam shared with the SCHout, “I am definitely interested in pursuing a career in STEM, specifically going into the medical field. One of my dream jobs is working in pediatrics.”